A Nocturnal Enuresis alarm uses intermittent vibration or audio to awaken the user. The alarm may be worn in close proximity to the source of urine. Sensors on the surface of the alarm enclosure sense the presence of urine and activate a low-frequency vibration. The vibration or audio is turned on and off by a timer so that the user is not lulled to sleep by the vibration. All types of alarm offer a range of sounds, and some even allow you to record your own messages or sounds. Some alarms create a flashing glow when sounding.
Is your child experiencing Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis? Read our blog for tips and guidance.
The can choose from the following types of Nocturnal Enuresis alarms:
Body Worn Alarms
There are two different styles of body-worn alarms you can choose from. Some alarms have a wire to connect the sensor to the sound box; the sound box itself is small and is clipped to the pyjama top. You can also purchase a wireless design, in which the small sound box is placed on a bedside table.
The sensor for a bedside alarm is detached from the child and requires no clipping to clothing. These sensors are often in the form of a mat which is placed under the lower sheet of the child’s bed. The noise box of a bedside alarm is placed on a bedside table.
The Bedwetting Alarm Success Rate
A 2012 study out of the University of Alberta by Dr Darcie Kiddoo saw 66% improvement in kids who used a bedwetting alarm for 14 nights vs 4% for those who used nothing. Studies over the years have also shown that bedwetting alarms are one of the safest bedwetting treatments for children. Research indicates a 60-80% long-term success rate when people are committed to Nocturnal Enuresis alarms.
My Child is a Deep Sleeper, will a Nocturnal Enuresis Alarm Work?
If your child is a deep sleeper, do not let this discourage you from investing in an alarm. For bedwetting deep sleepers, a Nocturnal Enuresis Alarm can actually be effective alongside a parent’s assistance for the first few attempts. You should play an important part in rousing the sleeping child once the alarm has sounded. As long as the alarm is loud enough for parents to hear, they can provide extra help if children do not respond initially.
If the process is not immediately successful, remember that it takes time for a bedwetting alarm to work. Before you see success, children need to get used to waking up and responding to the alarm, so do not become impatient with the process. A key factor in the success of an alarm is your child’s motivation to stay dry. Dr Walid Farhat, a Urologist at a children's hospital asserts that he sees an "80% success rate in those committed to using a bedwetting alarm". To improve your child’s motivation, you can ensure you give your child lots of praise and support for continuing to wear the alarm, taking frequent toilet visits and changing their pants and bedding.
Tips for Selecting a Bedwetting Alarm
There are many things to take into consideration before choosing a bedwetting alarm. Firstly, think about what your child would find most comfortable. Would it benefit you to find an alarm that comes with its own specialized underwear, or would your child be more comfortable in their own underwear? Some children like using their own underwear attaching the sensor, whereas others prefer those with a built-in sensor where placement will not be a worry. If your child dislikes extreme change and would rather not notice the sensor, a pad type sensor to lay on and a bedside alarm may be the best option. If your child is uncomfortable with loud noises or has a learning disability, they may prefer hearing the device from a distance. If your child would adapt to a sound or vibration close to them, however, you may prefer to have the sound close to their ear. In the majority of situations, the highest level of volume is necessary for the parent and child to respond.
The Effects of Desmopressin and a Bedwetting Alarm Combined
Desmopressin is an artificial form of the hormone Vasopressin, which many children who have Nocturnal Enuresis are lacking. It is useful to take your child to a Doctor and establish whether they would benefit from this alongside a bedwetting alarm. In the randomized comparative study of Fai- Ngo Ng C et al, 105 Chinese enuretic children received an enuresis alarm, desmopressin, or combined enuresis alarm and desmopressin therapy. After being followed for 12 weeks, the combined therapy group showed significantly better immediate response rates than the alarm independently. Similarly, in a placebo-controlled study, the efficacy of combined enuresis alarm and desmopressin with alarm monotherapy were compared in 93 enuretic children. There was found to be a significant reduction in wetting frequencies with combined therapy in comparison to alarm monotherapy.
Bedwetting should not be something that is embarrassing for children to manage. Visit our range of children’s incontinence products to find a discreet product for your child.